Cultural Appropriation In Othello

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Amandla Stenberg, a young actress and social justice activist, stated in a recently uploaded YouTube video, “What if America loved Black people as much as they loved Black culture?”, she was referencing a deep rooted issue that lately has been a key concern within racism in America. Cultural appropriation is the adoption or “borrowing” elements of one culture by a member of another culture. Cultural appropriation is a form of internal racism that may or may not be in an intentionally negative light. The line between appropriation and appreciation is very thin, though it is clear when said line has been crossed. Cultural Appropriation is not an acceptable way to admire People of Color, and it appears in three main forms, fetishizing, misrepresentation …show more content…
Othello’s race is undoubtedly Moorish, but his skin tone is ambiguous. However, Olivier donning brown paint and an exotic accent implies that Othello was intended to have dark skin. What makes this portrayal chilling is that the role was chosen to be played by a white man with brown paint during the civil rights movement, and that Othello had been played by a man of African descent in many previous renditions of the tragedy. This was over fifty years ago and the problem of whitewashing is still surprisingly relevant to this day, as even in the upcoming fantasy film Gods of Egypt. The cast of this film is exclusively white except for a sole African American actor portraying a god. A story of ancient Egypt has a that has cast of predominantly white males is illogical considering ancient Egypt was a culturally diverse place itself. Particularly in films that take place in the past, a common excuse from directors would be that people of color shouldn 't be casted. “The patterns we see in casting in major studio films give the impression that POC presence has to be justified, not given without question, like the presence of a white character would be” (qmunicate). A white face in a film is normalized and not worth noting, however the face of a person of color must be questioned or a plot

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